Sunday, March 30, 2008


We went out with Sylvia & Don this weekend. We went to Em's, which we went to with them the year before last, and we loved it, but we haven't gone back. Why?
The food was excellent, as was the company and the wine.
But the mushroom soup was sublime. Sublime!! I must start making mushroom soup. It was a broth soup (made from mushrooms, onions, garlic, what else?) and then it had three kinds of mushrooms (baby portabellos, shitake, button?). In any case, I could have eaten three bowls. It also had a nice crostini floating in it.
We were too full for dessert. Pity.
Who's dinner was best? Unknown. The scallop appetizer we shared was also perfect.
Before dinner, Sylvia, Don and I went for a cocktail at the Metropolitan. I had a delicious martini with the ice floating on the top (key!). And it was at least twice as good as the martini I had in New York and it cost less than half as much. Is that crazy? It's crazy!
I must now stop blogging and emailing in an effort to put off working on the DFL. I'm going to lock myself in the library for at least four hours today.
Then I'll top it off with basketball. I want Davidson to win, but I fear their winning streak may be coming to a close. I had them losing in the first round anyway.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Things I'm Doing Instead

...of working on the DFL which, by the way, is only 11 days away. Argh! Did I say 11? Help me!
So here's what I did, do, am doing:
  1. Attempted to do the Thursday NYT crossword (it's too hard! I'm too stupid!!).
  2. Started a new book (Water for Elephants. So far I like it.).
  3. Drank beer.
  4. Watched (very little) basketball.
  5. Drank coffee.
  6. Got my eyebrows waxed (hey! It's necessary!).
  7. Check my email obsessively.
  8. Worry about my syllabus for next year. Next! Year!
  9. Eat scones.
  10. Blog.
  11. Apparently going out to breakfast with The Devil, otherwise known as Middlebrow.
If any of you have any great ideas for my lecture, let me know. Just please, if you plan on attending, have low expectations. It's all I ask of you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reasons for Blog Silence

First it was Spring Break. Mostly we stuck around the house, but I did manage to get some work done on the DFL. Making Power Point presentation, importing pictures (I mean, stealing them from various internet sites), writing brief things to say about each one, worrying.
Then, we went to Boulder, Utah for a few days. It was beautiful and warm. On the drive down we stopped at Torrey and did a hike in Capitol Reef. Then we drove on to Boulder, checked in to our hotel, discovered we had forgotten the bathroom bag (my fault? possibly) and drove to the hippy gas station/convenience store to buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, a comb, and beer. We watched some NCAA excitement, sat in the hot tub, and then drank wine, ate chocolate and watched "Lipstick Jungle." Oh yeah, and we had dinner in there somewhere too.
The next day we went for a longer hike, but first we drove all around, went to Escalante, then drove back toward Boulder. But first we stopped at Kiva Koffe, which has to have the best view of any restaurant ever. At least of the places I've been. The hike was fun, but on the way back to the trailhead it was like a superhighway. And Son may have complained. Just a bit.
That night we had dinner at Hell's Backbone. I had delicious trout and quinoa and veggies. Middlebrow had delicious meatloaf and lemon mashed potatoes. They might be my new favorite thing. I also don't know how they get their roasted carrots to be so delicious. Maybe they just start out with better carrots? In any case, I ate every bite and was stuffed!
Saturday I woke up with a sore throat, so we basically just drove straight back home. I laid in bed and felt sick, but got up on Sunday to shoot baskets with the family and then go for a walk. But then yesterday I felt like crap again, but I taught anyway, because I would feel too bad about canceling class. Today I called in sick. So I hope I'm better tomorrow.
I'm thinking about going to the caucus tonight, just for fun. We'll see how I feel.
But I probably won't be blogging much until after the DFL. I already have 30 slides. Am I crazy?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rufus Report

Well, HighTouch and I made it up the hill and back down successfully, thanks to her expert driving.
Now, for the report.
Yesterday, I was feeling glad that we hadn't had tickets for months, because then I might have had such a build up of anticipation that the show couldn't live up to that. Post-show, I'm not sure. I don't think I could possibly, in this incarnation, have been disappointed. First, it was Rufus!!
He has an amazing stage presence and charisma. It was just him on stage with a piano and a few different guitars. And the audience was silent, waiting for him to speak and sing. He had our full attention.
The minute he walked out, I got chills. A kind of musical-anticipation chills. I got a little teary. He started with "Grey Gardens." He sang a few things from the new album which I don't have, but they were lovely. For a full set list, see Hightouch. I especially liked "Going to a Town" which had the refrain "I'm so tired of America." Very touching.
He did a little piano segue between something (I've forgotten) and "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" which is one of my favorites. He stretched it out and it was his fake ending. We all stood and cheered. I stood there thinking, he has to come out and do something amazing. I want to be floored.
And then he came out and sang "The Art Teacher," which is amazing. But then he started playing "Hallelujah" and talking about Leonard Cohen and the movie "I'm Your Man" in which he sings that song, and how he had been in Park City for Sundance when the movie premiered. The minute he started playing it on the piano I started crying, and I pretty much cried through the whole thing. I knew I would! But it did floor me. It was perfect and devastating. I had tears poring off my chin. It was so touching. I feel very lucky to have seen him perform. He's truly gifted. It was just him up there with the piano and his guitars. He has an awesome voice, he's a talented songwriter, arranger, and lyricists.
He was great and funny.
I feel blessed to have been there. It's one for the books.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wants and Needs

I am happy to report that by some convergence of Fate and Hightouchmegastore's credit card, we are going to see Rufus Wainwright tomorrow night!!!!!! (I think that deserves infinite exclamation points, but we'll settle for six).
My needs and wants for the evening are few, but important.
I want:
RW to sing "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" and "One Man Guy." If he can manage it "Hallelujah" would be great too.
Maybe some chocolate while he's singing?
I want to feel chills.
If I cry, it will be the second public arts performance that I have attended with Hightouch that I cried at. I'm just saying it so that if it happens, no one will be shocked. It might happen. It probably could happen.
I am grateful to my friend whom I had plans with for not saying that I was sort of crazy for canceling dinner plans to go see Rufus. I mean, he's Rufus. I would probably have flown somewhere to see him, like Chicago? Or New York?
I'm also grateful to Hightouch for driving up the hill.
I'm feeling a little jittery and nervous. I haven't been this excited since...I saw Journey in ninth grade?
No, since I saw...James Taylor at Tanglewood (just FYI, he's playing there this summer too).

P.S. I deleted "Client Nine" because I sent it out. But if you want to read it, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's Hard Out Here For A Mom (For A Mom)

Okay. This is not a pity party.
I had a hard day. Two meetings. Two!! I recognize that some people spend their days in meetings but I didn't sign up for that life and you damn well know that I don't have that salary.
I love my kid. I do. You know I do. But the meeting I had to sit through because I care about the quality of education he receives and puts his little heart frustrating.
I almost, almost, said just screw it. I'll put him in a regular public school where I don't have to deal with this "whole child" speak. I mean, I want him to get the best education. But I almost feel as if I am punished for caring so much. I know I am. I mean, it's not cool to care, right?
I also feel bad for wanting so much for so little. I know the teachers don't get paid enough. I know it! I'm willing to pay more. But unfortunately my willingness to pay more gets divided by all the people who (in this state) procreate beyond their means and then want us (those of us who only have one child) to pay more for the same education. Okay. I'm willing to accept that. But. But!!
I'm willing to work for what I want. Put in the hours. Do the overtime.
But. But!!
I have different goals. The teachers have some goals and the parents have others. And never the twain shall meet. (that's a bad, no terrible literary reference. I'm embarrassed to admit.)
What is good for this?
Well. To start: red curry and masaman curry. And beer. And then a bottle of wine.
And then American Idol. And then some chocolate.
Then "Lipstick Jungle."
What is most redeeming for me about this trashy, 40-something drama? I can be candid and admit that I love Nico's affair with a young man and the way he wants her. Also, hello!, Brooke Shields has arms like I don't know and I love her!!
Enough said. Over and out.
*I had to edit out the F word. I re-read it this morning. Must remember: don't blog at night while upset after drinking too much wine!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New Career Plan: Lie, Apologize, Profit

Here is yet another story about a fake "memoir": White Girl Writes Hood "Memoir."
How long does it take me to learn? First, you write a fake memoir. Make stuff up. The more dramatic the better. (Hey, I just remembered. My first love was killed in a hunting accident. And then I had to go live with my estranged aunt who was a crack addict. I lived on Top Ramen. I had to work at ShopKo. Oh wait, that was my sister.) Also, I could borrow a "plot" from a book that's already been published. That works too. (Wait, I already have a title, developed using an algorithm that combines all the titles from best selling books: Snow Falling on My Idaho Girlhood. Also, it sounds vaguely dirty, which helps. )
Then, when it comes out that it was all made up, I say that it was "emotionally true" or that I was speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. Or that I don't understand what is meant by "lying" because I'm a "creative" writer. That means I can create stuff, right? Get over it.
Then I apologize. Sorry. I just didn't understand.
Then I get a story in the New York Times. Then I write a novel. Jackpot!! Because I've proved I can make stuff up right?
Career Gold!
Why didn't I think of it sooner?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This is the most beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, amazing film I have seen in the past year. Maybe ever. It did what so few films do, which is to convey emotion via images. Why do so few movies do this? Film, after all, is a visual medium. Yes, it is a good way to tell a story. But few movies actually give you firsthand experiences of a character.
The film was amazing for so many reasons. It probably should have won for best cinematography and best director. It presents such a brilliant vision of the story. It goes beyond the narrative of the film into memory and emotion.
I'm still enthralled. I keep thinking of specific parts.
And, I loved Niels Arestrup as Roussin. I am going to look for other movies that he's been in. He was captivating. Perhaps it was his silver hair and blue eyes. Max von Sydow was amazing too. The film was heartbreaking, of course, but ultimately inspiring.
I highly recommend it. It was thoughtful and beautiful. Just really really beautiful.